House GOP Priorities Include a Continuation of the War on Women

Filed in National by on January 10, 2013

Rescuing anon’s comment from the Open Thread, Paul Ryan has decided that his first signature act of this new Congress would be to cosponsor a bill that would give legal rights to a zygote. Bills like this were roundly defeated everyplace they came up in 2012, if they even survived legal challenges. So this is the signal, right? That the GOP intends to beat their own record for the Worst Congress Ever.

From the Huffington Post:

Despite the deep unpopularity of fetal personhood bills in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has again decided to cosponsor the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a bill that gives full legal rights to human zygotes from the moment of fertilization.

Ryan, who reportedly has 2016 presidential ambitions, had to de-emphasize his opposition to abortion without exceptions during the 2012 election to align his position with presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But this year, Ryan has been tapped as a keynote speaker for the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List’s sixth annual Campaign for Life Gala, and he is re-upping his support for the most extreme anti-abortion legislation in the country.

The personhood bill, first introduced in 2011 by Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and reintroduced by Broun last week, specifies that a “one-celled human embryo,” even before it implants in the uterus to create a pregnancy, should be granted “all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” Similar legislation has been rejected by voters in multiple states, including the socially conservative Mississippi, because legal experts have pointed out that it could outlaw some forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization as well as criminalize abortion at all stages.

Broun said in a statement that a zygote’s right to life should be “defended vigorously and at all costs.”

Note that last statement. There are no live children with a right to life according to this world view. They want to work on a legal right to life for zygotes while there are children in Newtown and other places whose right to life was subordinate to the right of gun owners to uselessly point their guns at the government. These are the same people who are all for cutting back on child-oriented programs like SNAP or SCHIP and even education. These are the people at Ground Zero of the On Your Own Society who clearly do not get that there is NO human zygote that can survive on its own. It needs a mother who wants to carry it to term — even though a mother’s rights would now be subordinate to this new legal entity.

Wonkette does their usually snarky take on this thing, but they make a good point here that needs to be made over and over and over as this Congress gets suited up to do this kind of bullshit:

Aren’t we lucky, fellow Amercians, that someone is thinking of the children? Also, no wonder Paul Ryan got a standing ovation when he came back from the campaign. He’s in the trenches, doing the hard work of co-sponsoring legislation that has absolutely no chance of passing and has nothing to do with jobs, the economy, or the deficit.

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (16)

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  1. pandora says:

    I’m shocked, I tell you. Shocked!

    Keep in mind that Paul Ryan was quite comfortable hiding/dodging his beliefs during the election. Such an honest guy.

    I’m almost amazed. The GOP learned nothing from 2012.

  2. socialistic ben says:

    this is a cry for help. There is no way THAT many people can be THAT stupid…. especially when their job is to know what the public sentiment is.
    I think what is happening here, is that the GOP in Washington know they suck. They know their ideas suck. They also know enough people, in enough fixed districts vote hot and heavy on all these stupid ideas. These guys(and I guess a couple moronic gals) have to win primary fights. If they DON’T do this, they lose those primary fights. That seems like a survival tactic, but if they don’t keep acting like Alex Jones, people forget how horrible they are. People forget how every republican is secretly Todd Akin. The result is Allen West (BTW, kudos to retirement-land for correcting that one)
    So they do this… and some of them go down in a primary. The Teabag who beats them in-turn, loses by hysterical margins to a democrat. Dudes, all the House GOP is trying to do is play an advanced game that ultimately silences the crazy fringe!!! they are HELPING the country!!!!!!!!!
    #sarcasm, #no,theyreallyarethatstupid, #this#stuffisthedumbesttrendiveeverseen.

  3. Those rights exist by natural law. It is whether or not you believe innocent children should be killed or not based on another’s convenience.

  4. cassandra m says:

    Zygotes are NOT children. So there is no law — natural or otherwise — that applies. And there are innocent children — real ones — that are killed by people with guns every single day. When do you people give a damn about that?

  5. heragain says:

    David, I have children. They aren’t zygotes. I was there when they made the transition TO children. You weren’t.

    What will it take before these people stop trying to impose their nonsense on us?

  6. Jason330 says:

    “Those rights exist by natural law.” What an idiot. It would probably shock David to learn that people (less than 50 years ago) used that same argument to justify De jure discrimination against African Americans.

  7. Common Sense says:

    It is insignificant whether zygotes are children or not. Women aren’t aware they are pregnant (excluded fertilization procedures) until the fetus is developed and the body releases enough hormones to detect a pregnancy. A fetus Has characteristics of a human and left alone will develop into a mature human being. It should be protected as such. It isnt a case of religion impressing its views on non believers, rather it is an issue of whether that unborn individual has ownership of their body and whether abortion violates that ownership. It clearly does.

    I imagine technology can and maybe already is beginning to detect pregnancy at the moment of conception. In that instance I imagine we wouldn’t consider zygotes as human beings because the cells don’t demonstrate the characteristics of a human yet.

  8. Common Sense says:

    I know you recognize the difference between the concept of natural law that David refers to and the propagandist term used to justify discrimination. They are clearly two different concepts.

    Aside from that I’m interested if and why you think private institutions or individuals shouldnt be allowed to discriminate?

  9. kavips says:

    Found this from long ago in case anyone is interested in someone’s rebuttal of David’s take on “natural law.” Caution: extreme language.

  10. Jason330 says:

    Anyone who appeals to natural law is simply putting thier views above the law and claiming they are on God’s side. It is an example of the apeal to authority fallacy, and in this case the authority only exists in his mind.

    Could David come up with an even weaker argument? maybe, but he’d have to work at it.

  11. AGovernor says:

    I believe that life is sacred and should be protected from conception until natural death.

    That being said, this legislation is ridiculous and unnecessary. A total waste of our legislators time and efforts as well as taxpayer money. Our representative have more pressing issues to debate and vote on.

  12. Dave says:

    This thread made me wonder if the difference in views is attributable to a set of beliefs to wit: ‘

    Those who believe in evolution are comfortable with and adhere to a developmental process to becoming a person.

    Those who do not believe in evolution seem to be more comfortable with a Poof, There It Is! concept (first there was no person, now there is). After all that is entirely in line with their belief that God sniffed and voilà Adam and Eve. With the Poof! concept there is an instantaneous transition from nothing to a person.

    I guess it boils down to belief versus science.

  13. pandora says:

    LOL at the Poof! theory.

  14. mediawatch says:

    Of course, with the Poof theory, there’s no such thing as a zygote, or an embryo, so that makes Ryan’s proposed legislation unnecessary.

  15. bamboozer says:

    “Personhood” is just the latest rebranding of anti abortionism, much that same as when Creationism became “creation science” and later “intelligent design”. So far Personhood has failed miserably, even in very conservative states, I expect it will continue to do so as the whole concept is beyond absurd. The real surprise is that Ryan continues to win reelection in a state that should know better.

  16. cassandra_m says:

    It is insignificant whether zygotes are children or not.

    It certainly is significant. Because we’d likely agree that children ought to have certain legal rights. Most of us here would argue that zygotes do not. You can use Google to get to the difference. And the bill that Ryan sponsors here specifically gives legal rights to zygotes — the cell that gets formed when two gametes join. Giving legal rights to something that may not even come to term on its own is serious over-reaching and Big Government at its worst.

    A fetus Has characteristics of a human and left alone will develop into a mature human being. It should be protected as such.
    Not exactly true. A fetus needs the care and nurturing of its mother’s body before it can develop into a human being. Assigning it *rights* means that you are coercing women into carrying, with no recognition that women’s bodies shed fetuses all of the time. No intervention needed. The Big Government comes in when these women are made to prove that naturally aborted fetuses were naturally aborted. The natural law here is that this is None of Your Damn Business. And a spectacular bit of hypocrisy by the GOP advocating it.